Americas

Homa’s heroics turn close day into US rout in Presidents Cup


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Max Homa by no means felt extra energized over an enormous putt on a Friday, maybe as a result of he by no means had so many individuals who shared within the celebration.

This is why making the Presidents Cup was the highest of his want record this yr, and his newest afternoon heroics at Quail Hollow exceeded expectations.

The closing fourballs match was all sq. with two holes to play, the inexperienced surrounded by American gamers and caddies, captains and their crimson carts. Homa stepped towards the outlet and slammed his fist when he made a 12-foot birdie putt for a 1-up lead.

And then it received even higher. Taylor Pendrith was clutch with a 15-foot birdie putt because the Internationals tried to scratch out a 3rd tie. Homa stepped up and delivered once more with one other 12-foot birdie putt for the win.

The matches felt nearer. The consequence was not. Homa’s huge putts on the finish allowed the Americans to win one other session by a 4-1 margin, stretching the result in 8-2.

“It was pretty surreal,” stated Homa, who improved to 2-0 in his debut. “The atmosphere out there is insane. There’s so many people you can feel them on the back of your neck.”

Quail Hollow was full of 40,000 followers on a stunning autumn day, with former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush amongst these on the course.

In 5 matches that lined 87 holes, the gamers mixed for 67 birdies and three eagles, and three matches went the space.

All the International crew might handle have been two halves. What it faces now could be a activity much more monumental towards a U.S. crew that appears nicely on its technique to a ninth straight win on this lopsided affair.

“We feel like we’ve played some pretty good golf, some solid golf tee-to-green, particularly the last couple of days,” International captain Trevor Immelman stated. “But we have absolutely been out-putted. No doubt about it.”

He was with that closing match as Homa and Billy Horschel dropped key putts down the stretch. And when Pendrith dropped his birdie on the final and it seem like he and Corey Conners would possibly escape with a half-point, Homa was simply as clutch.

“I was nervous as could be over that putt, but it was fun,” Homa stated. “I was telling my wife, when we talk about things money can’t buy, money cannot buy that feeling. And that was something that I will remember forever, and I will tell anybody who ever wants to hear about it how that felt.”

For the second straight time on home soil, the powerful American team goes into a double session on Saturday with a mathematical chance to win the cup.

There are four matches of foursomes and fourballs, and the Americans would have to win seven of them and halve the other to clinch the cup. That sounds unlikely, except for who they have and how they’re playing.

The International teams led in one match — Mito Pereira and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, for a total of five holes — that ended in a halve with Cameron Young and Kevin Kisner.

Over two days and 10 matches, International teams have had a lead for only 10 of the 170 holes that have been played.

The 12 Americans are among the top 25 in the world and most of the are playing like it. The International team was cobbled together at the last minute with more defections to Saudi-funded LIV Golf run by Greg Norman, a former Presidents Cup captain.

Norman sent out a tweet wishing the International team well, accompanied by a photo of the team from its lone win in 1998. “Outside of all this angst — golf is golf, competition is competition; something every golfer thrives on.”

One of replies was from Immelman: “LOL.”

“I pretty much say it exactly as I’m thinking it,” Immelman stated. “What I said was exactly what I was doing when I read that tweet. I was laughing out loud.”

The energy of the American crew got here from a pair of dynamic partnerships. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele have been 5-up on the flip and simply held on for a 3-and-2 win over Hideki Matsuyama and Tom Kim.

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas improved to 6-2 as a crew in Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup matches, main from the fourth gap in a 2-and-1 victory over the Australian pair of Adam Scott and Cameron Davis.

As typical, Spieth and Thomas have been removed from uninteresting.

They have been 2 up with 5 holes to play when Thomas hit 6-iron that got here inches away from an ace on the par-3 14th over water to a again pin for birdie. And proper when it appeared as if the International aspect would possibly get nearer, Spieth was as much as his methods.

His method on the fifteenth was headed for the stream when it hit the rocks and caromed over the inexperienced into the tough. He chipped 15 toes by, after which made the putt to halve the outlet.

The Spieth-Thomas and Cantlay-Schauffele groups, fashioned as a lot by friendship as their video games, are 2-0 this week and are powerful to beat irrespective of whom the International crew sends out towards them.

The ardour got here from the Presidents Cup rookies.

Horschel hasn’t performed for his nation for the reason that 2007 Walker Cup and stated he felt like vomiting for 3 hours forward of his match. For Homa, it was the second straight day he was within the closing match, and each made it to the 18th inexperienced with an enormous viewers inside and outside the ropes.

“It’s surreal to have 10 of the best golfers I’ve ever seen in my life watching you and you’ve got to help them,” Homa stated. “It’s a heavy weight. But it’s also really fun.”

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